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  • No place in California stands to reap the rewards of high-speed rail more than the San Joaquin Valley. That is why the opposition of U.S. House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, and Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Turlock, is so puzzling. At a one-sided House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee hearing last Thursday – where the California High-Speed Rail Authority was not invited to testify – the two made it clear they want to kill future federal funding for high-speed rail in California.

    Sacramento Bee
  • ...When these new bik lanes were installed earlier this year and several streets had lanes for autos removed, I was flooded with complaints from drivers who said their commutes had increased 15 to 20 minutes. One of my bosses said his drive home at night was now "a disaster." But the griping has eased noticeably in recent weeks...

    Mercury News
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    ...Since taking effect in April 2011, average hourly rates have dropped by 14 cents from $2.73 to $2.59 at the 7,000 SFpark meters. Overall, 17 percent of those meters offer hourly rates of $1 or less — prices that are significantly cheaper than the ones offered at The City’s 22,000 older meters...Donald Shoup, a UCLA professor whose theories on parking were instrumental in developing the SFpark program, said he expected prices at meters to rise in the first year, given the demand for spaces in San Francisco. He said the drop in meter rates is proof that the agency is concerned about responsible parking management and not price-gouging policies.

    SF Examiner
  • Stung by another revelation about work on the new Bay Bridge, Gov. Jerry Brown's administration abruptly canceled Caltrans' $10 million consulting contract with the project's public affairs team eight months before the span opens to the traffic....Caltrans just doesn't get it: The Bay Bridge is different. It has always been different. It chews up standard procedures along with politicians and public agencies...

    Contra Costa Times
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    ...Researchers, observing pedestrians in Seattle, found that nearly one in three people crossing the street at high-risk intersections was distracted by use of a mobile device. Only one in four followed the full safety routine of looking both ways, obeying the lights, and crossing at the appropriate point, the study found....Texters were four times less likely to look before crossing, obey lights or cross at the appropriate place.

    Seattle Times
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    Ask any Greek - there are scores of reasons to avoid the country's trains. The system is old and crumbling, with creaky cars and a patchy rail network that skips some towns altogether.

    Atlantic Cities
  • While Uber is still facing a series of legal battles across the country, the future of hailing a taxi over your smartphone has gotten a lot easier recently — at least in the heavy cabbing grounds of New York and Washington, D.C.

    Atlantic Cities
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    Jonas Eliasson, a co-designer of Stockholm's famous congestion pricing system, recently gave a TEDx talk called "How to Solve Traffic Jams" (via The Transportationist). It's one of the clearest and most persuasive discussions of road pricing I've ever heard, and with the video nearing 300,000 viewers, I doubt I'm alone. Too often traffic planners try to determine what people should do instead of driving during rush hour, says Eliasson. He would prefer that cities provide the right incentives and let people take it from there....So what are the right incentives?

    Atlantic Cities
  • The mergers that have swept the U.S. airline industry in the last decade may not have been as bad for passengers as some travel watchers predicted...(T)he report's review of federal transportation data found that the average domestic ticket price rose 1.8% a year from 2004 to 2011. That's not to say there weren't fare surges on some routes, says Jonathan Kletzel, leader of the transportation and logistics practice for PwC US

    USA Today
  • In its first major regulation since the election, the Obama administration will impose a new air quality standard that reduces by 20 percent the maximum amount of soot released into the air from smokestacks, diesel trucks and other sources of pollution....An official who was briefed on the rule said the new annual standard will be 12 micrograms per cubic meter of air, down from the current 15 micrograms per cubic meter.

    AP/SF Chronicle